Amanda turned 29 this year and for birthday festivities requested “Victorian Skating.” Which gave everyone lots of room for interpretation. On the suggestion of Jennylafleur I decided to be smart (I know crazy right!?) and make the paletot that I know I need for Gettysburg this year AHEAD OF TIME…..I’ll give you a moment to recover from the shock………Good? okay onward!
In doing my
virtual shopping research I discovered there’s a fairly large range of 1860s outerwear.
From the ever stylish circus tent….
To more svelte fitted styles..
Some like the image above have narrow coat sleeves but some have GIANT SLEEVES.
Common trims involve soutache or fur.
And quilted trim was sure to keep you toasty
I found examples of length that varied form short and cute to almost wrappers.
So all this to say that when it comes to 1860s warmth you have a huge range of options. I only focused on coat-like-things here, but the cloak-the-size-of-Montana was also a popular look. I just have enough trouble feeling like a giant blob most days, a sleeve seemed helpful. I’m calling this a paletot because to the best of my knowledge a sleeved coat with no waist seam is a paletot and I’m not expert enough to disagree with THE Katherine C-G.
I used navy blue 100% wool flannel with an orange silk lining. The curly lamb trim was a find at a local fabric store maybe 6 years ago that I had been hoarding for such a project.
Construction wise I used the Homespun Patterns “1860s Paletot coat pattern” on a recommendation from the ever wise Katherine. I was very very smart and didn’t notice that it came in sizes. so please imagine my face when I opened it and realized I had ordered the size 8-10-12 and I in fact needed a size 22…This is when it pays to have friends with fancy sewing degrees as Adrienne graded it up for me. I promised to have her babies.
I did NOT follow the pattern construction instructions..they made no sense to me. I pieced the fashion fabric and the lining separately then turned under a hem and whipped the lining in.
I chose to split the difference between tent-and super fitted. Seemed most versatile while flattering that way. and I have to say I’m HUGELY pleased. It was comfortable, easy to wear, easy to put together.